Esther: Midsem Meltdown

Welcome back to your favourite Unimelb student for semester 2 of 2022! I know that you’ve all missed me since my last post, cuz I sure have missed writing to you guys. 

In the blink of an eye, I’ve been thrown into the thick of the semester. It’s already the end of week 7 at The University of Melbourne and I’ve finished most of my mid-sem exams, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t more to do. In fact, I still have 4 assignments lined up until the end of week 9. 

Anyways, enough of my ranting, it’s time to talk about what you’re really here for: Esther’s mum’s famous analogies! As per tradition, I’ll base my blog off something that my mum has taught me growing up. The topic of today is the importance of self-care. After travelling abroad, she definitely saw the toll that assignments and exams had on me. She would constantly remind me to “do everything in moderation”. Easier said than done when you’re not the one on exchange, I know, but let me show you just how important it really is. 

By the end of my fourth week at Unimelb, I had fallen into a strict routine of: wake up, clean myself, study, gym, cook food with my roommate, study some more, and then finally sleep. Because all my lectures were recorded and posted online, I would go on campus for tutorials, which weren’t even held in the central hub of the campus and were held in their respective faculty buildings located at the border of Parkville. Kind of similar to the Law School at UoA. Needless to say, this was quite different to my routine in New Zealand where I would attend classes in person and always in the centre of campus in OGGB. 

Due to this rigid routine, I slowly trapped myself in my dorm building for most of the week since all my tutorials are all concentrated on one day, working through one class per day. In retrospect, it was not very exchange-student of me to not even go out and enjoy the city. As such, a phone call with my mum reminded me that I was abroad, and should be making the most of my time in Melbourne. With that in mind, I began a nice habit of pushing myself to go out and study in the libraries at Unimelb. It was only then that I realised just how big the campus really is. My goal is to study in all of them by the end of the semester. I’ve achieved 4/7th of my goal and I’m planning to go to my 6th tomorrow! 

Going more onto the main campus, I’ve also found quite a few nice places for a little bite. The Standing Room makes an absolutely delectable chocolate peanut cookie that I’d buy everytime I pass by. Momo Sushi offers the perfect quick lunch with their $3 sushi rolls in all sorts of different flavours. I always order their raw salmon, spicy shrimp, and teriyaki chicken rolls. As for restaurants, my favourite one so far has to be the eggs benedict from a quaint little cafe called Pavlov’s Duck. It was somewhere my roommate and I went to in the weekends and had featured an amazing kumara hash brown! Definitley the best eggs benny I’ve ever had before!

Speaking of my Italian exchange friend, we’ve also gotten into a routine of going to study at the Baillieu library on Sunday and then always going out for dinner afterwards. Just today, we went on our Melbourne dessert trip and it was just amazing! One of the places we went to was Hareruya Pantry, which had some of the best Japanese ice creams and it was located only 30 seconds away from Little Hall. Being able to go out for dinner with her is honestly the highlight of my week. 

Slowly, the time that I spent inside my dorm decreased and I became more familiar with the city that I’ve been calling home for the past few months. It’s also not an exaggeration to say that my mental health has significantly improved with my daily walks to and from campus as well as the weekly socialising opportunities I partook in. I guess long story short, I just want to advise all of you that it may be easy to get caught up in grades and studying when you’re abroad, especially if you’re taking all compulsory subjects like me, but remember to find that right balance between studying and relaxing.

In the wise words of my mother: “everything in moderation.”

Till next time!

Your friendly Unimelb guide 🙂

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